Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Art History Lectures

Surrealist Art and its Precursors

Presented by Cornelia Feye

 

Tuesdays, October 1, 8, 15 & 22, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM.

 

This four-part lecture series explores the Surrealist movement that began in Paris in the 1920s, while also acknowledging its influences from 16th to 19th–century artists, such as Hieronymus Bosch and Francisco Goya. The original Surrealist artists and writers were inspired by Sigmund Freud’s dream analysis and the exploration of the subconscious mind. They were also reacting to the devastation of World War I and revolting against the values of a society that had led to such destruction. Under the leadership of André Breton, Surrealists aimed to express themselves without restrictions of reason, moral, or aesthetic considerations. Breton’s death in 1966 left no heir to unite the divergent branches of Surrealist artists all over the world and led to the end of Surrealism as a unified movement.

 

October 1 » Early Depictions of the ‘Strangeness of Life’

 

Artists, such as Salvador Dalí, acknowledged the influence of 16th century artists Hieronymus Bosch and Giuseppe Arcimboldo in their work. The Surrealists admired Bosch’s depictions of the “strangeness of life.” This lecture will explore the art of these Renaissance painters as well as the influences of Goya from the 18th century and Gustave Moreau and the Symbolists from the 19th century.


October 8 » From Dada to Surrealism: Paris 1920s

 

Surrealism grew out of the Swiss Dada movement, and many artists made the transition. In 1925, Breton organized the first group exhibition La peinture surréaliste in the Gallery Pierre in Paris. It included work by Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, André Masson, Man Ray, Yves Tanguy, and Pierre Roy. New members joined the group in 1929: former Dadaist Tristan Tzara, Dalí, filmmaker Luis Buñuel, and sculptor Alberto Giacometti.


October 15 » The Spread of Surrealism: Belgium, New York, Mexico

 

From Paris, Surrealism spread to Belgium, where René Magritte became a leading figure. Exhibitions sprang up in Belgrade, Cairo, Prague, Brussels, London, and San Francisco. In New York, Marcel Duchamp and Dorothea Tanning represented Surrealism at Peggy Guggenheim’s Gallery of the Century among others. A historical survey at MoMA in 1936, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, introduced the movement to a wider audience. In Mexico City, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, together with a group of exiles from WWII, organized and showed Surrealist art.


October 22 » Surrealist Women Artists

 

Talented women artists have long stood in the shadow of their famous male peers. This lecture explores the contributions of Tanning, Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, photographer Dora Maar, Leonor Fini, Remedios Varo, Meret Oppenheim, Gala Dalí, and others.

 

Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions

 

Individual tickets: $14 member / $19 nonmember

Series tickets: $48 member / $68 nonmember

 

 

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.

 

 

Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Art History Lectures

Matisse, Le Magnifique!

Presented by Victoria Martino

 

Tuesdays, October 29, November 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM

 

If my story were ever to be written truthfully from start to finish, it would amaze everyone—Henri Matisse

 

Join art historian Victoria Martino for a stunning, revelatory, and celebratory five-week lecture series, illuminating the life and works of Henri Matisse in honor of his 150th anniversary.

 

October 29 » Appendicitis and Art—The Early Years

 

Educated as a lawyer, Matisse discovered his love for art accidentally, through his mother’s gift of art supplies during his convalescence from an attack of appendicitis. 


November 5 » The Wild Beast—The Fauve Years

 

When an influential Parisian critic reviewing the Salon d'automne exhibition in 1905 sensationally referred to Matisse and his artist friends as les fauves the movement of Fauvism was officially born. 


November 12 » A Bourgeois in Bohemia—The Paris Years

 

Gertrude Stein’s purchase of the most reviled of Matisse’s Fauvist paintings launched the artist’s celebrity. He became the darling of Stein’s celebrated Saturday salons, and he founded the Académie Matisse, a Parisian private school where he taught young artists.


November 19 » The Return to Order—The Riviera Years 

 

Matisse’s move to a suburb of Nice led to a period of neoclassicism and simplification. A lengthy sojourn in Morocco inspired his “Orientalist” odalisques.


November 26 » Of Cut-outs and Chapels—The Final Years

 

Bedridden, due to severe complications resulting from cancer surgery, Matisse found his infinite capacity for creativity and innovation led to a new art form: the paper cut-out. One of his last and greatest works was the design of a chapel in Vence, a project resulting from his friendship with a young woman who had nursed him during his convalescence and who had become a nun.

 

About Victoria Martino: 

Victoria Martino is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and the University of California. She has taught art history and interdisciplinary arts courses at universities in the United States and Australia and has curated over two dozen major museum exhibitions. She is highly regarded for her thorough and impeccable scholarship and has been published in over 60 academic and museum publications in six languages. In the area of early 20th century art, she has conducted influential original research on Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee and has published works on Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg.

 

Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions

 

Individual tickets: $14 member / $19 nonmember

Series tickets: $60 member / $85 nonmember

 

 

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.

 

 

Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Art History Lectures

Dreams and Enchantment: Jan van Eyck

Presented by Linda Blair

 

Thursdays, November 7, 14 & 21, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM

 

Dreams and Enchantment is a three-part lecture series designed to transport us to an otherworldly realm of noble knights and dreaming ladies, caparisoned steeds, and fairytale castles—all our reveries of the Arthurian knightly dream—in short, to 15th century Burgundy and the last glow of late medieval art. 

 

I have taught art history for many years, revisiting the same artists year after year, and in the process forged a crucible of judgment, what I call a “durability” principle: with renewed acquaintance some artists grow in my esteem, while others fade to mere pinpoints of light. Yet there is one artist who has never waned but continues to glow brightly: Jan van Eyck.

         

Now, wouldn't you assume that after so many years of looking and loving Jan van Eyck there would be little I didn't know? I would have thought so ... but no! Last year's series on Leonardo da Vinci forced me to look anew at Van Eyck, at the impact of his discoveries, and to place him at the fulcrum of Renaissance and thereby all Western art.

 

I invite you to explore with me the wellspring of Leonardo's genius—a supreme technical expertise devised by Van Eyck—and to revel in the beauty, the richness, and, above all, the magic of Jan van Eyck. 

Linda Blair

 

November 7 » Van Eyck as Influencer

 

How could Jan van Eyck possibly relate to Leonardo? The insights and inventions that made his genius possible were born not in Renaissance Italy, but far away, beyond the Alps in Northern Europe, in small, patrician Bruges, center of the dukes of Burgundy and their court painter, Jan van Eyck. We will plumb Van Eyck's discoveries to look afresh at Leonardo’s art.


November 14 » Burgundy, Chivalrous Ideals, and Van Eyck’s Paintings

 

Burgundy, a tiny sliver of land, politically powerless but made persuasive as one of the most romantic, poetic, and refined of all the European courts, was so elegant it was slavishly emulated across Europe. It elevated the ideals of knightly culture—art, architecture, costuming, pageantry, tournaments, courtly ritual—captured in Van Eyck’s luminous paintings.


November 21 » Van Eyck and the Intersection of Reality and Enchantment

 

Art has always been bedeviled by the tension—the irreconcilability—between realism and spirituality, between the material world and that of the spirit. But Van Eyck was able to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable, rendering convincing, tangible settings, perfect cubes of light-filled spaces, that also resonate with the tensile strength of deep piety through use of symbolism. This is art that exists at the intersection of reality and enchantment.    

 

Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions

 

Individual tickets: $14 member / $19 nonmember

Series tickets: $36 member / $51 nonmember

 

 

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.